Between the Lines: Christmas Day: December 25, 2011

Text: Luke 2:1-14, (15-20)

Tending Flocks and Following Stars

English: Pleiades Star ClusterAll day I tend
the things of this world,
herding tasks and children
like so many cats.

But by night
I tend another flock—
forgotten selves
like so many sheep,
longing to be recognized
and pulled into the fold.

Their white fleeces glow
so brightly upon the landscape
that, from my sentinel position
in this twisted dream oak,

they appear as stars—
each cluster of warm bodies
a constellation as compelling
as those distant, twinkling suns
above me.

Or are those suns below?
My perspective is shattered.
Twinkling and bleating
become a single song.

In the distance, a lone light
calls to me. Is it a sheep
or a star? Someone tells me
not to be afraid—

but I don’t know
which way is down (or up).
I don’t know how to get out
of a tree that is rooted
in both directions.

– Kathie Collins


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